MANILA, November 16, 2005
 (STAR) By Ehda M. Dago-oc The Freeman - Technology solutions provider, IBM Philippines has formalized its commitment to help Cebu in providing globally-competitive workforce for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) related investments.

In partnership with the Cebu Provincial government, the "Cebu ICT Workforce Discovery Workshop," was officially opened last Monday, following its earlier similar agreement with the Cebu Educational Development Foundation for I.T. or Cedfit.

The workshop, which is participated by members of the different sectors from the business community, government, academe and private agencies, is aimed at formulating an effective framework to develop high-breed ICT workforce in Cebu.

The workforce development covers not only training but also formulating effective government policies, direction, standards and other areas that affect the development of workforce pool.

Once completed, the manpower development framework is expected to overhaul the current structure especially in the academe, and local government units.

IBM program director for Learning Solutions Brian Kramer in an earlier interview said workforce development is one of the most important programs that would be pushed immediately-especially that Cebu is slowly attracting topnotch ICT investors from all over the world.

This initiative would also help people get equipped and prepared for any work they will be required to do in ICT or tourism industries.

This already include; the coming of Business Process Outsource (BPO) companies, call centers, back-office offshore operations, software development, Research and Development, among others.

IBM, a global company, chose Cebu as its pilot area to implement its workforce development program in the country because of its potential to accommodate multi-billion dollars outsourcing, call center, and other ICT related investments.

The company has recognized that these industries further require a qualified workforce that is readily capable of meeting their requirements. IBM further believes that the workforce development program is the best solution for the would-be employees.

Cebu has started capturing an increasing share in IT enabled services, thus there is an immediate need to prepare its manpower to meet the demands of global competitiveness.

In the middle of this year, the Cebu Provincial Board passed a Resolution No. 2084-2005, which recognized IBM's role for helping in the development of ICT workforce in the province.

The resolution cited IBM's role in a "study on the immediate need to be done by Cebu to strengthen and develop the workforce supply for ICT so that its workforce will be kept updated with the latest work trends."

IBM president Joaquin Quintos earlier said that IBM's concept on "Workforce Development Program," patterns the structure on the newly released "Global Innovation Outlook", a projection of experts on where the technology and innovation are headed.

Quintos said Cebu's potential to suck the multi-billion dollars outsourcing, call center, and other ICT related investments should be well complimented with qualified workforce that are readily capable of industry's requirements.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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